SAFEPOST: Postal Operations Optimization

Increasing Security while Reducing Costs

In the SAFEPOST project MJC² worked with DPD, Correos and IcelandPost to develop innovative algorithms and techniques for increasing efficiency and security in postal and parcel operations:

  • Advanced logistics scheduling algorithms which detect suspicious activity and optimize operations based on real-time tracking data.
  • Data fusion algorithms which automatically process and interpret tracking data received from vehicles and integrate with logistics planning systems.
  • Real-time re-optimization algorithms which replan operations in response to delays and disruptions to improve service levels and increase efficiency.

The SAFEPOST algorithms enable parcel and postal operations to make huge cost savings while simultaneously increasing security and visibility throughout the network.

DPD Correos Iceland Post MJC2

How does it work?

Real-time tracking data is sent to the optimization system, which automatically processes the information and uses it for two main purposes:

  • Comparing the actual activity against agreed/planned activity. If the difference is significant then Security Personnel receive automated warnings and can drill-down to view more details.
  • Measuring the actual progress against planned progress to automatically anticipate delays (e.g. vehicle stuck in traffic). The impact of these delays is automatically calculated for the rest of the operational schedule.

Most importantly, SAFEPOST provides real-time scheduling tools which help the user resolve the issues that arise in an optimal way. For example, work is intelligently swapped between drivers where possible, rather than calling in a last-minute agency resource.

What's New?

Many tracking systems on the market can display tracking information to the user and perhaps use geo-fencing or similar for detection of certain deviations.

However these systems are not coupled with an optimization system that can model the logistics operation in an integrated way (taking into account not only the linehaul movements but also the activity that takes place when the vehicle arrives at the sortation hubs).

SAFEPOST is a highly innovative approach to addressing both security monitoring and operational planning in a single solution:

  • Integrated optimization of the operation in a synchronised way, side-stepping the 'hub vs transport challenge' that exists in many organisations.
  • Dynamic scheduling in response to real-time data, greatly reducing the amount of manual work and calculation undertaken by the transport planner.
  • Continuous optimization of the operation in real-time, leading to huge cost savings.
  • Synergy between security and operational management, delivering mutual benefits by working within one framework.

The optimization system is based on advanced routing and scheduling algorithms designed to cope with the data volumes associated with a major postal or parcel operation. These are combined with an intuitive and interactive graphical interface that provides appropriate visibility and control to security users, supervisors and operational planners.

What are the benefits?

The SAFEPOST optimization system has many benefits in terms of enhanced security monitoring/detection and drives significant operational efficiency improvements:

  • Automatic monitoring and detection of suspicious deviations in the logistics network means that security personnel are alerted to possible risks faster and more effectively.
  • Enhanced control over the logistics operation to facilitate security processes and actions. Secure or high-risk items can be more reliably directed through secure corridors and channels, with ability to dynamically update in real-time.
  • Optimized utilisation of vehicles and drivers, avoiding dead time for these resources and reducing transport costs.
  • Reduced emissions due to reduction in wasted repositioning movements through enhanced planning capability.
  • Smoother flow of traffic into hub/sortation centres, thus increasing efficiency and the capability for security monitoring of suspicious items.
  • Improved End of Sort times at the hubs (within rules for deadline and priority service traffic).
  • Improved customer service by responding more efficiently to operational issues and last minute requests for consignments.
  • Structured capture of operational Big Data which is subsequently available for forward planning and strategic optimization.

More Info?

For more information about the SAFEPOST project please contact us. Alternatively, for more information about MJC²'s logistics planning solutions for the postal and parcel sector please click here.

 

 

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